Henry “Hank” Bessemer Richmond III, passed away Dec. 6, 2019

Henry “Hank” Bessemer Richmond III, 72, of St. Joseph, MI passed away on Friday-December 6, 2019 at Spectrum Health Lakeland in St. Joseph, MI. Arrangements have been entrusted to Starks & Menchinger Funeral Home – 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph, MI.

Hank was born on January 1, 1947 in Charleston, WV to the late Henry and Irene (Diefenbach) Richmond. Hank grew up a proud Texan in the cities of Port Arthur and Beaumont, Texas. He loved being a Boy Scout, earned Eagle Scout, and played any sport he could, including baseball, football, wrestling and basketball. His parents were devoted to Hank and his brother John. When his Father’s work took the family to Chicago, Hank made new friends through sports and academics, excelling in both. Upon graduation from Lyons Township High School in 1965, he was nominated to the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Hank was a member of West Point’s “Black Knights” Army Football team as a defensive end and fullback. Significantly, his Army team beat Navy in 1966 and 1968, and tied them in 1965. Hank loved military training even more than academics, and became an Infantry officer upon graduation in 1969. Hank served in combat in Vietnam, where he worked with a South Vietnamese Army infantry unit as an advisor.

Hank met his wife Patty in Munich, Germany in 1975. He was an A team leader in the U.S. Army 10th Special Forces Group, Bad Toelz, and Patty was an Army communication specialist in Neu Ulm. They married in 1978 and traveled throughout Europe while moving from post to post in Germany. He served his last ten years in uniform at the Pentagon, then served 12 more years there as a civilian contractor for the Army and the Secretary of Defense.

Upon retirement in 2007, Hank was brought to Michigan by Patty, who grew up in Benton Harbor. He quickly made friends again, with veterans, golfers and Lions. Heart surgery did not slow him down very much. He traveled across America and several times to Europe. He has been a proud member of Lest We Forget, and spent his last day in his favorite way — having breakfast with his buddies, attending the monthly Lest We Forget meeting, and getting a haircut. He lived completely, right to the end.

Hank is survived by his wife Patty; brother-John Richmond of Dallas, TX; brother-in-law Duff (Cathy) Hanson; sister-in-laws Kay (Steve) Birdsell and Karen Hanson; and many loved cousins, nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Life memorial service will be held on Saturday-Dec. 14, 11:00 A.M. at Starks & Menchinger Funeral Home. Visitation is on Friday at the funeral home from 5:00-8:00 P.M. Memorial contributions may be made to Lest We Forget – SW Michigan at www.lestweforgetswmi.org Friends wishing to leave the family a message of condolence may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com 

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